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Publication numberUS6533680 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/849,459
Publication dateMar 18, 2003
Filing dateMay 4, 2001
Priority dateMay 4, 2001
Fee statusLapsed
Also published asUS20020165042
Publication number09849459, 849459, US 6533680 B2, US 6533680B2, US-B2-6533680, US6533680 B2, US6533680B2
InventorsWan Wu
Original AssigneeFine Earth Enterprise Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf putter head
US 6533680 B2
Abstract
A golf putter head comprises a main head body, a striking surface and a rear part. A cavity is formed at a central part of the rear part, and two protrusions are formed at both ends of the rear face. A base of the cavity is designed into a thin shaped structure. A center of gravity of the putter head is shifted behind the striking surface and the weight of the putter head is shifted to both its ends.
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Claims(7)
What is claimed is:
1. A golf putter head comprising:
a main head body having a string surface and a rear part, a central part of the rear part having a cavity, wherein the cavity has a slope-shaped base with an upper section and a lower section, the upper section is thinner than the lower section, wherein the thickness of the upper section is approximately between 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm and the thickness of the lower section is approximately between 1 mm and 2.3 mm; and
two protrusions formed at both ends of the rear part.
2. The golf putter head of claim 1, wherein the base of the cavity has a loft angle that is approximately between 0 to 7 from a clockwise direction.
3. The golf putter head of claim 1, wherein the base of the cavity has a loft angle of about 4 from a clockwise direction.
4. The golf putter head of claim 1, wherein the putter head is fabricated by a metal material that comprises soft iron S25C.
5. The golf putter head of claim 1, wherein the putter head is fabricated by a forging method.
6. The golf putter head of claim 5, wherein the putter head is fabricated by a computer numerical control method.
7. The golf putter head of claim 1, wherein the slope-shaped base of the cavity and the two protrusions are formed from a single piece.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The present invention relates generally to golf putter heads. More particularly, the present invention relates to a golf putter head with improved forgiveness.

2. Description of the Related Art

The game of golf is a game of accuracy, which is based on the lowest score possible. The score is determined by the number of strokes required to place a golf ball in a cup, which resides on a putting green.

There are several factors affecting the score. One of the biggest factors affecting the score is the use of proper clubs, more particularly the golf putter. The important feature of the golf putter is the putter head. The golf ball must be positioned at the center of the striking face of the putter head or the sweet spot, and the sole of the putter head must be parallel to the putting surface, so that an accurate hit can be achieved. Therefore, a well-designed golf putter head should include features that promote accuracy, consistency and forgiveness to minor errors. Two main errors that occur during striking are off center hits and miss hits.

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic front view of a conventional putter head. The conventional putter head 100 has a striking face 101 consisting of two parallel markings 102, which indicates a sweet spot region 103 of the putter head 100. A point C located within the sweet spot region 103 indicates the center of gravity of the putter head 100, which also indicates an ultimate point at the striking face for hitting the golf ball. However, when the golf ball is not positioned at the ultimate point of the striking face of the putter head, the golf ball will miss the target line, thus an off center hit results. FIG. 2 shows a schematic top view of the putter head 100 having an ultimate point A. For a golf ball 202 to be on a target line 200, the golf ball 202 must be located at the ultimate point A of the putter head 100. But if the golf ball is hit at a wrong position, such as point B instead of the ultimate point A, the golf ball 202 will be off set away from the target line 200. A path line 201 shows how the golf ball 202 travels when it is being stroked at the wrong position of the putter head. Due to the rotation motion of the golf ball 202, the greater the distance the golf ball travels, the bigger the offset error away from the target line 200, which is shown by comparing the path line 201 and the target line 200. However, FIG. 3 indicates that when the golf ball 202 is at the ultimate point A but the sole of the putter head is at an angle β to the putting surface instead of parallel to the putting surface, the golf ball will miss the target line and travels along a path line 301, which is offset away from the target line 200. Thus a miss hit results.

As a matter of fact, a variety of putter heads have been developed which improve striking accuracy, reduce the errors and assist the golfer in visually determining the proper position of the putter head with respect to the golf ball, target line and putting surface. However, the forgiveness of the putter head is not much improved and off-center hits still occur. Many conventional putter heads have markings, lines, grooves or material layers that assist the golf player in aligning the ball at the sweet spot of the striking face and aligning the striking face perpendicular to the target line. The material layer formed on the sweet spot, which is made of plastic or polymer, can increase cohesiveness between the sweet spot area and the golf ball. In order to achieve proper putter head alignment and position, the golfer must visually center the rearward extension between the two parallel markings. However, the accuracy of this positioning method is dependent on the golf player's own perception of whether the extension is centered between the markings. Errors often occur when attempting to accurately center the extension between the two markings, resulting in the improper positioning of the putter head, miss hits and off center hit putts. Even if the golf ball is positioned at the sweet spot of the putter head, if the striking angle of the golf club is offset, the golf ball will travel away from the target line and miss hit putts will still result. Therefore, conventional golf putter heads still face the problem of miss hits and off center hits.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a putter head that can improve the forgiving ability.

It is further another object of the present invention to provide a putter head that reduces the problem of miss hits and off center hits.

A golf putter head comprises a main head body, a striking surface and a rear part A cavity is formed at a central part of the rear part, and two protrusions are formed evenly at both ends of the rear part. A striking portion is designed into a thin shaped structure, so that the center of gravity of the putter head is shifted behind the striking surface. The base of the cavity can be designed a sloped-shaped structure comprising an upper section thinner than a lower section. A thickness of the upper section is approximately between 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm and a thickness of the lower section is approximately between 1 mm and 2.3 mm. A loft angle of the base of the cavity is approximately between 0 to 7 but is preferably at 4 from a clockwise direction. The base of the cavity can also be designed such that a thickness of the upper section is thicker than the lower section. The thickness of the upper section of the base is approximately between 1 mm to 2.3 mm and the thickness of the lower section is approximately between 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm. A loft angle θ is approximately −1 from a clockwise direction.

Both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a schematic front view of a conventional putter head.

FIG. 2 is a schematic top view of an off center hit caused by a conventional putter head.

FIG. 3 is a schematic top view of a miss hit caused by a conventional putter head.

FIG. 4 is a schematic 3-D view of a putter head of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a putter head of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a magnified cross-sectional view of a part 505 of FIG. 5 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7a is a schematic top view of a conventional putter head.

FIG. 7b is a schematic top view of a putter head of the present invention.

FIG. 8a is a schematic top view of a conventional putter head.

FIG. 8b is a schematic top view of a putter head of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a magnified cross-sectional view of a part 505 of FIG. 5 in accordance with another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention provides an improved putter head and a fabrication method thereof. The present invention utilizes shifting the weight of the putter head to its head and toe ends together with a extremely thin structure design at its center part in order to prevent the miss hit and off center hit problems, and improve the forgiveness and accuracy.

FIG. 4 illustrates a schematic view of a putter head of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 4, a putter head comprises a main body 400 with a neck portion 401, a striking surface (not shown) and a rear part 404. The neck portion 401 provides a top sleeve 402 for inserting a golf shaft. The rear part 404 comprises a cavity 405 at the center of the rear part and two portions of protrusions 406 and 407 at its head end and toe end. The purpose of the two protrusions 406 and 407 at the head end and toe end is to shift the major weight of the putter head evenly at both its ends.

FIG. 5 is a schematic cross sectional view of a putter head of the present invention, and FIG. 6 illustrates a magnified cross-sectional view of a base 505 of FIG. 5.

The cavity 405 of the rear part 404 in FIG. 5 has a base 505, which is the structure shown in FIG. 6. Since the center portion of the rear part 404 is formed into the cavity 405 with the extremely thin base 505, the major weight of the putter head is shifted to its both ends. The putter head of the present invention is designed in such a way that the center of gravity of the putter head is shifted behind the striking face. When the center of gravity is shifted behind, the golf ball can be hit at the sweet spot of the putter head easily. Therefore, the forgiveness of the putter head is extremely improved.

Referring to FIG. 6, the base 505 is a structure having an upper section 600 and a lower section 601, in which the thickness of the upper section 600 is thinner than the lower section 601. A loft angle α is an angle between a bottom surface 603 and the striking surface 403. The loft angle a is approximately between 0 to 7 but is preferably at 4 from a clockwise direction. The thickness of the upper section 600 of the structure is approximately between 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm and the thickness of the lower section 601 of the structure is approximately between 1 mm to 2.3 mm. The design of the base 505 not only improves the forgiveness, but also provides a better putter surface. The design of the putter head improves the accuracy of striking hits, even if the striking angle is off set.

The characteristics of the present invention can be explained by comparing the conventional design to the inventive design. FIG. 7a shows a conventional design of a putter head 700, which has its weight equally distributed throughout its structure. If a golf ball 703 is not positioned at its sweet spot A when a striking force is applied, the conventional putter head 700 will rotate easily at an angle, resulting in a miss hit. However, FIG. 7b showing a putter head 701 of the present invention, which has its major weight shifted to both ends. If the golf ball 703 is not at the sweet spot A when a striking force is applied, the putter head 701 will not rotate easily, and the putter head 701 will still be able to be parallel to the putting surface. Thus a miss hit can be reduced. Since the putter head of the present invention can reduce the degree of the golf ball off set away from the target line, therefore the forgiveness of the present invention is greatly improved.

FIG. 8a is a conventional design of a putter head 800, which has a center of gravity at point C and a sweet spot at point A. When a golf ball 802 is hit at a point B instead of the sweet spot point A, an error angle θ1 occurs, and resulting in the golf ball 802 being off set away from the target line. An off center hit thus results. FIG. 8b is a putter head of the present invention. The putter head 801 has a center of gravity at point C′, which is shifted behind the striking surface. Since the center of the gravity of the putter head is shifted further away from striking face, a distance between the sweet spot A to the center of gravity point C′ is increased. When a golf ball 802 is hit at a point B instead of the sweet spot point A, an error angle θ2occurs. However, since the center of gravity C′ of the present invention 801 is much farther away from the striking surface than the center of gravity C of the conventional putter head 800, and the distance between the sweet spot A to the center of gravity point C′ is also increased. Therefore, the error angle θ2 is much smaller than the error angle θ1, the error of off set is reduced. Thus, the forgiveness of the putter head of the present invention is improved.

However, the present invention is not limited to the shape of the base 505. By utilizing the principle of shifting the weight of the putter head to both its ends and shifting the center of the cavity behind the striking surface, the present invention can be designed with different shapes of the structure based on the same principle.

FIG. 9 illustrates a magnified cross-sectional view of the portion 505 of FIG. 5 in. accordance with another preferred embodiment of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 9, the base 505 is a structure having an upper section 900 and a lower section 901, in which the thickness of the upper section 900 is thicker than the lower section 901. A loft angle θ, which is an angle between a bottom surface 603 and the striking surface 403 is approximately −1 from a clockwise direction. A thickness of the upper width 900 of the base 505 is approximately between 1 mm to 2.3 mm and the thickness of the lower section 901 of the base 505 is approximately between 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm. Although, the shape of the base 505 is different, it still is based on the same principle; therefore, the putter head still provides the same functions and advantages. However, the base 505 cannot be thinner less than 0.4 mm because if the base 505 is less than 0.4 mm, a distortion will occur. The base 505 also cannot be ticker than 2.3 mm because it the base 505 is thicker than 2.3 mm, the forgiveness is extremely reduced.

The putter head of the present invention is made of a metal that can be a casting or forging such as soft steel, soft iron or a metal consisting of S25C. A forging process is utilized as an example to disclose the present invention; however, the present invention is not limited to the forging method only. A cylindrical shaped metal is first provided. The cylindrical shaped metal is then subjected to high pressure pressing, so that the metal is formed into a basic putter head shape. A computer numerical control (CNC) method is performed to shape the putter head to its detail. Due to the high pressure pressing, the crystal lattice structure of the putter head is compressed into a high density and very hard structure. Therefore, the putter head of the present invention provides powerful hitting ability, and though even the thickness of the base of the cavity is very thin, the putter head of the present invention can still be subject to the hitting force and pressure without distortion.

The advantages of the putter head of the present invention are the great improvement of accuracy, consistency and forgiveness due to the fact that the center of gravity of the putter head is shifted behind the striking surface and the area of the putter head is evenly distributed at both its ends. The distance between the striking surface to the center of gravity point is also increased. Therefore, the error angle is greatly reduced. The golf ball can be hit at the center area of the putter head, and even if the striking angle is slightly off set, the golf ball will still be in its target line. Therefore, miss hit and off center hit problems can be prevented; thus the forgiveness of the golf club is greatly improved.

Other embodiments of the invention will appear to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples to be considered as exemplary only, with a true scope and spirit of the invention being indicated by the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4795158 *Mar 20, 1987Jan 3, 1989Right Way GolfGolf putter
US4921253 *Mar 9, 1989May 1, 1990Tesori Charles AGolf club
US4984799 *Sep 28, 1989Jan 15, 1991Finney Clifton DGolf clubhead with a corner-back system of weight distribution
US5255919 *Jun 28, 1991Oct 26, 1993Johnson Alexander TGolf putter
US5275409 *Jul 13, 1992Jan 4, 1994Kirk CurriePutter
US5344149 *Apr 26, 1993Sep 6, 1994Miller Charles JGolf putter
US5437088 *Sep 29, 1994Aug 1, 1995Igarashi; Lawrence Y.Method of making a golf club that provides enhanced backspin and reduced sidespin
US5774970 *Jul 24, 1996Jul 7, 1998Huang; Hui MingManufacturing process of a golf club head
US5792004 *Feb 5, 1996Aug 11, 1998Yamaha CorporationIron golf club and a method for producing the same
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6699142 *Jan 28, 2003Mar 2, 2004Fine Earth Enterprise Ltd.Golf putter head
US7169061 *Jan 20, 2004Jan 30, 2007Fu Sheng Industrial Co., Ltd.Putter head
US20030144076 *Jan 28, 2003Jul 31, 2003Wan WuGolf putter head
US20050159241 *Jan 20, 2004Jul 21, 2005Wen-Ching HouPutter head
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/340, 473/341
International ClassificationA63B53/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2053/0408, A63B53/0487, A63B2209/00
European ClassificationA63B53/04P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 4, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: FINE EARTH ENTERPRISE LTD., TAIWAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WU, WAN;REEL/FRAME:011776/0911
Effective date: 20010430
Aug 24, 2006FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Sep 3, 2010FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Oct 24, 2014REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Mar 18, 2015LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
May 5, 2015FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20150318